When I first began seeing outrage in my Facebook feed over Abercrombie and Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries’ alleged comments about not wanting larger people shopping in his store, I immediately headed over to Snopes.com to see if it was true. It sounded like it “had the makings of a tall tale turned legend, similar to the false lore about Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” origins or the bogus story of Oprah throwing designer Tommy Hilfiger off her show following racist comments.
It turns out this one is true – sort of. Business Insider and ABC News took it upon themselves to investigate whether large sizes can be found at A&F stores. When they couldn’t find the sizes, they dug up a 2006 interview in Salon Magazine, where Jeffries is quoted saying, “In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends.”
Coupled with some unflattering comments from retail analysts and a refusal of comment from A&F, the teen clothing giant has a bit of a crisis on its hands – again.
Immediately upon returning to the office, everyone asked me, “What did you think?” It really takes a while to let it all sink in and coalesce, and figure out what major takeaways will stick long after the sessions, workshops, lounges, parties and after-parties become a fading daydream.
SXSW is known as the largest gathering of the brightest minds from digital, tech and social media worlds. You find inspiration everywhere. Not only at the motivational keynote addresses, but also at the meet-ups, sessions and even your counterparts waiting in line with you or riding the conference shuttle.
Between Raph and I, we attended approximately 30 sessions and workshops on topics ranging from new journalism to big data and storytelling to social media along with things we never thought of! We tweeted in real time as we heard many experts relay their nuggets of wisdom. You can still find all of the on-the-ground, day-to-day coverage right here.
Posted in: sxsw
It’s that time of year again! More than 20,000 digital pros from around the country are gearing up for the 2013 edition of their favorite inspirational melting pot, South By Southwest Interactive.
Personally, I can’t wait to geek out at the keynotes and panels and find out what’s new and next in the world of interactive.
Among what’s next is our very own meetup, where we look forward to introducing attendees to rbb’s Breakout Brand strategy – an evolutionary brand approach that emphasizes customer engagement, interactive marketing and the value of emotional connections with customers.
Posted in: sxsw
As the buzz about Yahoo’s ban on working from home continues to escalate, it struck me that the outrage over “to ban or not ban” misses the big picture.
Both sides can make arguments that have some merit. Yahoo claims this is “right for Yahoo right now” – but says who? Obviously not the current and former Yahoo employees who are shaken and confused by the change and have chosen to speak out.
The decision comes from someone at the top who more than likely has engaged in very little of the “water cooler creativity” with the rank and file that was determined to be so critical to company success.
Posted in: Business Thoughts
“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”
This is a popular saying for those who study analytics (apparently this phrase hung in Albert Einstein’s office at Princeton University) and it certainly sums up today’s public relations measurement debate.
The problem with measurement is not so much a question of whether we need to do it (yes), but how we’ll do it and how we’ll sync up as a community to ensure we’re comparing apples to apples.
The industry has stepped up to steer this along through the Coalition for PR Research Standards. With members from a multitude of national PR organizations like PRSA and the Council of PR Firms, the Coalition is working toward a list of standards that define the terms that help us speak in a common language (reach, engagement, awareness).
Tags: advertisement, advertising, blog measurement, CGM, communications measurement, data driven decision, Internal Communications, Marketing, media analysis, media evaluation, PR, pr measurement, prsa, Public Relations, silver anvil
My last column with PRWeek focuses on procurement. Say the word and most marketing people cringe and immediately think about their budgets being cut.
But as rbb has worked more and more with outside procurement specialists, and especially began working with a leading procurement company, it’s clear that the thinking about procurement has changed and smart agencies should get on board or be left behind.
Our client, Procurian, calls it the “New Procurement.” The days of just negotiating for cost savings are over because a one-time budget slash doesn’t deliver enough of the real savings companies demand.
Under this new philosophy, procurement should help make smart decisions that bring more added-value to the table like using specialty firms or unbundling contracts for more bang. They should have experience in the marketing field to understand various agencies and their areas of focus to make the relationship smoother for all.
The right external specialists who have not only deep market intelligence, but the infrastructure to manage the process, and the ability to see the process through to make sure everyone complies offer a win win for both sides of the negotiating table.
As my article states, just like good neighbors make good fences, good contracts make for good PR partnerships. Next time you’re faced with a procurement process, think about what you do that adds value to a client and be prepared for forthright discussions on how both sides mutually benefit.
Posted in: Business Thoughts
Our Breakout Brand strategy is in the news again. Earlier this week, PRNews ran a great story about our Customer Insights study, which show the value of brands focusing on the customer, not the competitor.
Today, my second guest blog post at PRWeek went live, and it’s about how emotions can drive brand success.
What do Zappos, Apple and Starbucks all have in common? These are brands that create powerful, memorable customer experiences. That approach can have a tremendous impact on a company’s bottom line.
According to a survey by the polling firm IBOPE/Zogby International for rbb Public Relations, of the 2,000 adults surveyed, 83 percent said they are willing to spend more on a product or service if they feel a personal connection to the company.
Read my full post at PRWeek for three specific steps to adopting Breakout Brand strategies to make your cash register sing.
Like last year, I was asked by PRWeek, a dominant industry publication, to be their featured guest blogger for the week. I was more than happy to oblige, and my first post on what clients really want appears today.
My post focuses on an idea that seems counterintuitive at first – the last thing people think about when hiring a company is their actual ability. My point is that most clients who’ve done their research already know a PR firm can do the job, so I believe that prospective clients are more concerned with how you do the job. In other words, is there chemistry? How well will you work with their team?
It may seem superficial, but it’s a philosophy that can help boost client satisfaction. Read my post at PRWeek to see how affability, availability and ability really come together when building a successful relationship.